As the classic rock song says, “Accidents Will Happen,” but does that mean that every injury resulting from an accident will lead to a successful lawsuit for compensation? Of course not, and most everyone knows this. But, for the layperson, it can be difficult to distinguish between the types of injuries for which compensation via a personal injury lawsuit or settlement may be available and those for which no legal recovery may be available. Ultimately, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to answer this question (and, in some cases more than one if the first does not provide satisfying answers), but below are a few of the types of accidents for which compensation may be available.
Accidents Caused by Another’s Negligence
Every single one of us has what is called a “legal duty” to conduct ourselves in ways that are “reasonable” (this reasonability is measured from an objective point of view, and not on what a particular defendant thought was reasonable in a given circumstance) and do not present a foreseeable risk of injury to other parties. This standard applies to everything we do, from how we change lanes to get to a freeway exit, how we race across a crowded subway platform to make a train transfer, how we swing our big foam #1 finger at a football game, and everything in between.
Basically, if another person injured you because they took some act that was unreasonable and which foreseeably caused you injury (e.g. sideswiping you on the highway, knocking you onto to the subway tracks, hitting you in the eye with a big foam #1 finger, etc.), then you can bring a claim for negligence against that person. In addition, you can bring a claim against his or her employer if the act occurred in the scope of that person’s employment.
Accidents Caused by a Defective Product
If you have been injured by a defective product – such as an appliance, tool, medical device, drug, automobile, etc. – and the injury was due to either a defect in the design or the manufacture of the product, then you can bring a lawsuit for compensation against the seller of the defective product, the manufacturer of the product, and any other parties in the chain of distribution for the product, so long as the defect was present when in that party’s control.
Accidents Caused on Another’s Premises
If you were injured by a dangerous condition on another person’s property, then you may be able to sue the property owner for compensation if that property owner failed to take the proper amount of care to inspect the property for dangerous conditions (e.g. slippery surfaces in a store aisle, sharp edges on corners, icy steps on a home, rusty nails left on the ground, loose floorboards, etc.) and either warn you of the dangerous condition or remedy the condition. The standard of care the property owner is held to will depend on your state law, which can include distinctions for business owners and private owners having guests over socially. Note that the property owner himself does not have to have caused the condition, only failed to provide notice or remedy it.
Other Miscellaneous Types of Injuries
In addition, your state’s laws may provide compensation in a variety of other situations, and you should speak with an attorney to be sure. For example, hotels may be liable for criminal acts that result in injury on their property, bars may be liable for injuries from drunk driving accidents caused by patrons, and dog owners may be liable for injuries caused by dog bites, just to name a few.
Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys in the Inland Empire
At McCune Wright Arevalo, LLP, our personal injury team – led by by partner Cory Weck, a Marine Corps officer with over 20 years of service to his country and 15 years of experience litigating personal injury cases – has repeatedly won verdicts and settlements on behalf of clients across the Inland Empire in the millions of dollars. Our attorneys understand that the fear, anxiety, and pain that you and your family are going through following a personal injury, and we are dedicated to doing everything we can to help our clients get the help they need. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys.